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Tuesday, 25 July, 2000, 22:18 GMT 23:18 UK
Spain's not a pain for Merry
Katharine Merry
Merry felt the benefit of her 400m training
Katharine Merry ran the fastest 200m of her life at the Adidas IAAF Permit meeting in Barcelona to stay on course for Olympic gold in Sydney.

Stepping down from her favourite 400m distance, Merry clocked 22.76 secs to finish second behind Australia's Lauren Hewitt.

The Birchfield Harrier beat her three-year-old personal best by 0.01sec, leaving recent European Cup winner Muriel Hurtis trailing in her wake.

"What really showed out there was the strength I have developed from training for and running over 400m," said Merry. "I'm absolutely delighted with my performance."


Now Merry is relishing her 400m clash with two of her main rivals for the Olympic title - Australian Cathy Freeman and France's Marie-Jose Perec - at the British Grand Prix at Crystal Palace on 5 August.

"I've got a lot more confidence out of running so quickly tonight," said the 25-year-old. "That's the sort of time those girls can do and it suggests I'll be able to go off a bit quicker when we meet."

Helen Pattinson
Pattinson: finished second to Masterkova
Helen Pattinson broke her 1,500m personal best for the second time this month with a time of 4:04.82secs.

She ran a near perfect race to finish second to reigning Olympic champion Svetlana Masterkova, who clocked 4:02.78. Ireland's Sinead Delahunty was third in 4:05.28.

"I was holding myself back out there," said Pattinson. "I came here to set a personal best and now that I've done that I want to run even faster.


"When Masterkova went there was nothing I could do as I was still among the pack. But now I know I can make more progress. After tonight I believe in myself more and felt very strong even at the end."

Paula Radcliffe, running her first race since the World Cross Country Championships in March after a succession of injuries, struggled throughout the race and finished 11th in 4:11.45.

"I'm pleased there were not problems with my knee which is great news," said Radcliffe. "That's the main thing, knowing I am fit enough to race again."

In other events Ukrainian long jumper Inessa Kravets recorded the longest jump of the year when she leapt out to 7.10 metres although it was wind assisted, and Wilson Boit Kipketer led a Kenyan 1-2-3 in the steeple chase winning in a time of 8:12.64.

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See also:

24 Jul 00 |  Athletics
Radcliffe ready for action
24 Jul 00 |  Athletics
An Australian Freeman of London
20 Jul 00 |  Athletics
Crystal clear for Palace
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